A few professional photographs!

On this rainy Thursday, I got the delightful surprise of some of our professional photographs! I've been rather impatiently waiting, and was so excited to see a few more. I really loved our photographer, Celeste Ainsworth; she really has a great personality! She did a wonderful job, and is very reasonably priced. The boy and I aren't terribly photogenic, so she had a tough job. I was excited that out of the few pictures she posted, she captured a few details that mattered so much to the micro-manager in me. I can't wait to see more, but it's so exciting to see these! I thought I'd post a few of the details she captured. So without further ado... my shoes that I loved so much... And the tasty cupcakes... The bubbles that I worked so hard tying and making a sign for. And of course, the free flowers! The hanky that I bought the last minute off Etsy (I'm so happy I did this). My Aunt Linda wrapped it around my mom's Bible and I carried it instead of flowers and it was also my something blue.

Writer's Workshop...

Umm, I only wish my day could resemble the Kate Spade ad. In reality, writer's workshop with ninth graders is a bit hectic. You run around and try to conference with as many kids as possible/keep everyone on task, but it's always amazing at how many different stages everyone is at. Oh, we've spent the first part of the year paying attention to what good writer's do, and I've been scaffolding and modeling the current essay that they are working on, but still some of my students need intensive assistance. It is exciting when they finally understand. They're learning about a thesis statement, so it is a huge step, and not an easy concept.

Today is busy day for school. I'm the sophomore sponsor, and we're staying after to decorate the sophomore hall the theme of "Old Hollywood." Some classes are super competitive, but the sophomores? Not so much. We're restricting our decor to paper and pictures. Not constructing huge wooden structures, like some of the other classes (I wouldn't even know where to begin!). Then I'm working at McDonald's for McSpirit night from 6:30-8. Apparently, a graduate degree isn't enough to keep you from working at Mickey D's!

Weekend Recap

The boy and I had a pretty nice weekend. Friday, we went to dinner at a local hamburger place, and just stayed in. We finished the third season of Mad Men, and now I can't wait to see what's happening in the fourth season. I'm always happy to relax on Friday night. Saturday, I got my oil changed, and then I went to a friend's bridal shower. This was her second shower, but I was a bridesmaid, so I wanted to be there. I was in charge of games, and I made a crossword puzzle and the "ABCs" of my friends wedding. The crossword puzzle was tricky, but there were lots of prizes, so I think people enjoyed it. I was lucky because the second bridal shower was only an hour and a half from my house. When I got home, I found that the boy had straightened up the house. Yay! For some reason, when things are cluttered, it drives me nuts. Sunday was a quiet day that involved me cleaning out our linen closet, and the boy and I taking a long walk in the pouring rain (which was fun).

The bridal shower started to get me excited for the bachelorette. I'm not in charge of it (and don't want to be), but the bride's MOH hasn't really taken a lead. I ended up doing the invites Saturday night, and was pretty pleased with how they turned out. I think it also makes me a loser, since I really do get my kicks from stationery. I was pretty pleased at how they turned out, because I was able to put all of the details on the back (let's hope everyone sees the back!). I know that they aren't perfect, but at least she has invites now! We plan on going to some wineries, dinner and then drinks. It should be relatively calm, but I'm a tad worried about the expenses. A few of the other bridesmaids aren't really participating in helping with costs and such, so I'm worried that a few of us are going to be stuck with a lot of the cost. The boy is pretty annoyed at this; he just doesn't want me to get spend hundreds of dollars on the project. It's weird how now if I waste money, I'm hurting us both. Has any one else had success navigating payments for a bachelorette or have any tips to make the process a smooth one?

Let them eat cake!

So until our photographer posts our wedding pictures, I wanted to discuss our wedding cake, and lack there of. In order to save money, we didn't actually have a wedding cake; we had wedding cupcakes. We had a cupcake buffet, and then each table had its own cake stand with enough cupcakes for everyone at the table. Overall, I think people really enjoyed the cupcakes. We got them from our local bakery store and I LOVE these cupcakes. I am seriously disappointed any time I eat cake that isn't from them. So, I was determined that these cupcakes make their debut at the wedding. They aren't anything fancy, but they are tasty. They provided a nice snack while waiting for the main meal, and didn't need to be served. Also, we saved lots of money on flowers, and will be able to reuse the cake stands (i.e. in my brother's wedding this January).

We actually bought a little cake for our sweetheart table, which is what we ended up cutting. The husband's dad got some shots of us cutting our cake. I was actually pretty nervous cutting the cake, because I was terrified that I would end up spilling the cake on my dress, or getting cake on the boy. However, the cake cutting and sharing went off without a hitch, and we look happy in the pictures. :)

Probably the best last minute decision was to include a groom's cake. The boy grew up in Blacksburg and lives and breathes for VA Tech football. When we began the whole wedding planning process, I knew that I wanted to get him a VA Tech themed cake. However, in the midst of all the other things I completely forgot about it until about a week before the wedding. Overwhelmed by school, I nearly didn't bother, but the boy's dad and my sister ordered and transported the cake for me. Anyone who knew the boy knew how perfect the cake was for him. In the sea of pink and navy blue accents, the maroon and orange really rounded out the wedding.So that's the story of our cake and cupcakes. We ended up having lots of cupcakes left over from the dessert table, and I enjoyed eating our cutting cake for quite a while. In short, cake is pretty important to me, and I'm looking forward to seeing what our cake tastes like in a year!

Thoughts on Thursday Night

It's the first time all week where I've felt like I don't have to run around like a crazy person and still be behind. The house is a bit messy, but I'm feeling enough energy to at least put up the laundry.

I got to go to Hallmark today and buy cards for people. Having enough energy to walk around the store and do that is always a success. I bought my friend "His better half" and "Her better half" coffee cups to go along with the registry gift for her bridal shower this Saturday. I think they're so cute. The husband's godparents bought them for us, and I was super excited. I had seen them before, and for some reason wanted them. The reason being that I love cheesy stuff that is a total waste of money. I also wanted to give them to someone. While I know people love registry gifts, I really think that buying something a bit more personal is nice (assuming you give a gift receipt!). :)

It's amazing how refreshing it is to only spend nine hours at school.

As usual, I just keep thinking how much I want our photographer to post our wedding pictures. I don't know why I care so much, but I just really, really want to see a few more. I guess a part of me just wants to relieve that day. It's been almost three weeks, and I just really want to see some pictures!

Fall pants!

So, two of my favorite pants that I wore all the time last year have tragically bit the dust. One I can't find to save my life; maybe they got lost in the move. And the other I ripped in the knee when I fell down (being the klutz I am).

My sister and I attempted to find pants this weekend, but I was holding out for pants a bit cheaper. Anyways, the advent of fall (or the hint of it) has made me want to buy some plaid or herringbone pants. As usual, the Loft looks like it might be where I'll be visiting sometime this season. I want to check out these, these, and hopefully this pair will go on sale.

And the weekend is over now too!

Unfortunately, the weekend went by just as quickly as the week. Judging by how quickly my planning went this morning, I think this week is going to be very busy. I had a great time hanging out with my sister, and it was a great trip overall. We got back at a decent hour on Sunday, so I had some time to clean and try to organize our wedding gifts. It's a little sad that we hadn't finished unpacking from our honeymoon. Now, we haven't finished unpacking from this weekend! It doesn't seem like we will be catching up anytime soon.

This weekend I also realized that I'm decidedly not domestic. I don't really cook (although I think I want to start). As usual, my sister inspires me to want to do better. In one small triumph, I did successfully cut a pineapple. And you know what? It was easy! So, here's hoping for a few more domestic successes (even if they're just as simple as getting the apt. straightened up, and some of the laundry done).

It's the weekend!

The week flew by! I knew I'd be busy catching up and re-orienting my students. Despite my dread, we had a good week. One of those weeks where you work really hard, but it seems worthwhile. My kiddos were really adorable trying to acclimate to my new last name. They're doing a much better job than I am. So, here's to the weekend! The husband and I are going to Blacksburg for the weekend. He's going to watch the VA Tech game, and I'm going to hang out with my amazing sister. It doesn't get much better than that!

Rehearsal and Dinner Recap

This week is going to be pretty busy, since I'm coming back to my students (and catching up with lots and lots of paper grading and such). However, I thought I'd begin with the wedding recaps, before I forget everything!

The day of the rehearsal was rather hectic; it was definitely more stressful than the wedding day (which was a very relaxed experience). The boy actually ended up doing lots of the last minute wedding things. He did the table assignments, escort cards, and the playlist. This was great, because I simply would have been seriously stressed out if it'd been all up to me. The rehearsal day was pretty busy. The boy and his dad arrived to our house that afternoon with the groom's cake, and his dad started to help us transport our "wedding accessories." We had to get all of the cake stands, table numbers, and decor to the church and to the reception site. Because we didn't have flowers for centerpieces, I think we probably had more decorations than a typical wedding.

We got to the church around three, and were able to set up the guestbook, direction cards, "cutify" the bathroom, etc. before the rehearsal. Then our wedding party arrived, and we began to rehearse! The rehearsal went well, and we were pleased at how easy it was to run through everything.

The rehearsal dinner was also very nice. Really, the rehearsal dinner was much nicer than I ever imagined I would ever have. It was at the same site as our reception, except we ate in the restaurant, instead of the separate pavilion.

It was great for the kids to go out on the deck and play by the water. Our pastor and his wife were able to come, and almost all of the boy's extended family was there. The food was delicious; I was very impressed at how the restaurant was able to serve thirty meals at relatively the same time. The toasts went well.

The boy's toast made me tear up because it was so sweet. He didn't really have a lot of time to practice it, but he did a great job. Both of our dad's gave nice toasts too, and all of the kind words really set a positive tone for the wedding!

And the honeymoon is over

While I'm sad to come back from the honeymoon, real life had to begin again. The boy and I had a great time in the Outer Banks. We were really happy that we had Tuesday and Wednesday to recover from the wedding. We started thank you notes, cleaned, unpacked, repacked, and combined our finances. We were exhausted, so that time was definitely needed. After the boy's classes on Thursday, I picked him up and we drove to my parents' house outside of Richmond. We stayed the night because my dog was sick, and hit the road on Friday morning. We checked into the uber-classy Travelodge and the fun began. Actually, the Travelodge IS really classy for us. The boy originally had us checked into a motor lodge that we stayed in with my sister last year for a day, but he decided against it. The deciding factor: roaches. The boy was still paranoid that there would be a roach in our room, so he had me scope out the situation quite a few times. However, our honeymoon was roach free (as far as we know, and that's what matters).

On Friday, we hit the beach. The air was cool, but the water was nice and warm so we enjoyed our time. We then had an early dinner at the Blue Moon. The boy had shrimp and grits, which he said were really good and my veggie entree was surprisingly delicious as well. With full stomachs, we climbed the sand dunes. The boy even rolled down the sand dunes, which was definitely as sight to see. After we were both good and sandy, the boy let me stop by the J.Crew outlet. He's definitely very tolerant. I wasn't too long looking, but I did get a navy blue cardigan, which I know will be useful for work. Perhaps not surprisingly I have lots of brightly colored or patterned cardigans, but I'm a little lacking in basic neutrals. I was able to use my teacher discount, so it was under thirty dollars. The boy is still convinced I got ripped off, but he let me get it anyways. :)
Saturday was our full day at the Outer Banks, so we drove down to the Hatteras Lighthouse. We splurged on paying the seven dollars to walk up the lighthouse (the tallest brick lighthouse in the world), but somehow I didn't factor in how afraid I would be of walking up the thing. I'm really afraid of heights, and climbing up a spiral shape and then glimpsing down is scary. Getting to the top isn't any better, shockingly enough. However, seven dollars is seven dollars, so I persevered and made it to the top. I even ventured out to the landing for a brief snapshot. After that little adventure, we came back to lay on the beach and get into the ocean for a bit. Then came my absolute favorite part: dinner at American Pie. Last year when my sister, the boy and I went down to the Outer Banks for my first time, we ate there. It's delicious, and once again, the pizza didn't disappoint. It was actually better, because it was less busy and service was much faster. It's amazing how much difference a weekend can make between off-season and in-season. After filling up on pizza, we went back to the hotel and just hung out. The boy promised me that we would return for homemade ice cream later that night, and on our way home the boy suggested perhaps his most brilliant plan of all. Look up the best ice cream in the Outer Banks and try a few! I've never ice cream "hopped" before, but this was most certainly a plan that excited me. We went to Scoops Ice Cream first and split a butterfinger ice cream cone. We were both pretty full after that, but we continued to American Pie where we got Apple Pie ice cream cone. The Apple Pie ice cream was so good that even though the boy was full, he actually had quite a few bites.

On Sunday, we had to hit the road. Even though our honeymoon was a bit short, it was so great to be able to get away. We were able to do different activities together, but the best part was looking over at my husband and seeing his wedding ring gleaming in the sun.

Our welcome bags!

Initially, I was going to skip the welcome bags, but at the last minute I realized that I had enough time to finish them up. The water bottles were very easy; I found a template online that was pretty easy to change. Bottle water is great, because it is relatively cheap.

Because I was short on time, the welcome bags were simple: brown bag with our monogrammed label, a bag of chips, a bottle of water, and a candy bar. I also included a little card with our contact information and a welcome. I thought that the bags weren't essential and maybe a waste, but I saw our wedding party digging into the snacks. At the end of the night, and in between dinner and the rehearsal, people really do appreciate snacks.

The one thing that I made sure I did was create individual kid welcome bags for all of the boy's cousins. They were all coming from quite a ways, so I included some toys and kid friendly food.

After nearly ditching the welcome bag project and then doing it after all, I'm really glad that I did! I think people actually used them and they made our guests feel more welcome.

Reader, I married him!

On Monday, the boy and I got married! We had a wonderful day; we're still trying to process everything. The wedding was amazing. Things completely out of my control worked out completely, and we had a lovely ceremony and a great reception. The one thing I'll never forget is walking down the aisle. My OCD self thought that I would look at the programs or something, but instead all I could do was stare at the boy and see how happy he was. When I saw him, I wondered why I worried so much about things being perfect. It was clear that he thought I was pretty, and was really happy to be marrying me. Our pastor did a great job, and our ceremony was so blessed.

The reception also turned out well. My brother's friend served as a DJ, but I don't think anyone realized he wasn't professional, and the boy's playlist was fantastic. Our guests aren't really prone to dancing, but I was surprised by how many did. Sean and I had fun during our first dance after all, even after thoughts of scraping it (because we both don't really like dancing). We were even lucky that our wedding coordinator at the reception site saved the flowers from the previous night's wedding reception (that matched our colors), so we had extra flowers. We had cupcake centerpieces, but the extra flowers on the buffet table were nice, and something we couldn't have even hoped for. The boy and I were both pleased by how all of the corners that we cut weren't noticeable, and all of our hard work really did pay off. Our wedding was definitely a blessing, and we are both so happy that we had a ceremony and reception. It was truly a wonderful day and we have no regrets.

We're going to go to the Outer Banks for a few days, but I wanted to post a few pictures from our photographer (who is amazing!). I had a coupon for 100 free prints from Shutterfly that expired today, and our amazing photographer was able to send me some prints to choose from even though she's had no processing time (that's how awesome she is).
I'm excited that we'll be able to economically be able to include them in our thank you notes. So with that, I'm getting ready to go the beach and wishing you all a happy rest of the week and weekend!

My last wedding craft project (until my brother's wedding)

With the advent of school, I don't have time to worry as much about wedding activities and do craft activities. A few weekends ago I simply wanted to buy a cardbox (something I'd forgotten to do), but the cardboxes at Michael's were expensive and ugly. So I ended up whipping up this little cardbox and wanted to share. I was happy that it turned out so well and was practically free (since I had everything lying around the house)!

A shout out to my sister!

My sister passed her last prelim! Which means that she only has her dissertation left before she has her PhD in math. As someone who never took calculus, I continue to be amazed by her!

In other news, three more days until the wedding! It was fun to tell my kids that I was getting married, because some of the girls got so excited. I hope that they'll be okay while I'm gone.

The boy has been hard at work finishing up the escort cards, so the "to do" list is dwindling down! We're thinking about taking our honeymoon in the Outer Banks; basically we're taking a long weekend. Either way, I can't wait!